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PhD Research Fellow in Nuclear Fission

Deadline: 27.02.2024

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society. 

The research at the Department of Physics covers a broad range of subfields within physics and technology: From space research to medical physics.

A good proportion of the research is interdisciplinary, and conducted in close cooperation with collaborators in Norway and abroad. Education and teaching are other essential activities. We offer a broad range of courses, and the Department is involved in several study programmes at bachelor’s and master’s level. Some of the best lecturers in Norway are amongst our employees, and we are proud of our prizewinning teaching and learning environment. The Department has 200 employees, of which 50 are permanent scientific positions. On a yearly basis 20 students complete their Ph.D. and 50 finish their M.Sc. degree.

About the position

Position as PhD Research Fellow in Experimental Nuclear Physics is available at the Department of Physics. The position is funded through the Norwegian Nuclear Research Centre (NNRC).

NNRC is a cross-disciplinary collaboration between Norway’s leading institutions within nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry research: University of Oslo (UiO), Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), and Institute for Energy Technology (IFE). The Centre addresses major research questions within the nuclear field spanning topics from nuclear properties and medical isotope production, to reactor simulations and modeling of spread of radioactivity in the environment.

This PhD Research Fellow will be a part of NNRC’s Research Theme 2: Nuclear Fission. The fellowship period is 3 years. A fourth year may be considered with a workload of 25 % that normally consists of teaching. This is dependent upon the qualification of the applicant and the current needs of the department.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo. Starting date no later than October 1, 2024.

Job description

The Nuclear Fission Research Theme will provide fundamental research on the nuclear fission process, which is still not fully understood, as well as produce nuclear data for both nuclear reactor and nuclear safety applications. Obtaining experimental information about fission is also important to constrain and improve nuclear fission models.

The current project aims at studying the gamma rays emitted in fission to understand excitation energy and angular momentum effects in nuclear fission. This includes measurements of the isomeric yield ratios (IYRs) of fission fragments, as they give insight to the configurations of the initial fission fragments and are thus excellent probes of the mechanisms behind angular momentum generation in fission. Measurements of these will will be run abroad at for example IJC Laboratory and GANIL.

Another fission observable of interest is prompt fission gamma rays (PFGs) as a function of excitation energy and angular momentum of the fissioning nucleus. Measurements of these will be conducted at the Oslo Cyclotron Laborarory (OCL) using the OSCAR array of 30 large volume LaBr detectors.

The experimental results will be compared to computational fission models and will serve as a benchmark to whether the current description of the prompt radiation is accurate. The candidate will take a leading role throughout the project, including preparation of the experiments, data analysis and interpretation, and publication of the results.

This research will be part of a larger international research collaboration, and also be a part of the Norwegian Nuclear Research Centre. The candidate is expected to contribute to and partake in activities organised by the Centre.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition to be among Europe’s leading communities for research, education and innovation. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.


  • Master’s degree or equivalent in physics, with specialization in experimental nuclear physics
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system
  • A scientific profile relevant for the nuclear structure research program as outlined above
  • A solid background in scientific computing, including proficiency in Python programming
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English


Several qualifications are considered strongly desirable and will be used in the ranking of the candidates. In the order of importance, these are:

  • Experience with particle and gamma-detectors
  • Experience with conducting nuclear physics experiments and familiar with data analysis techniques.
  • Knowledge of nuclear structure models/fission from Master-level courses
  • Experience with using nuclear reaction codes like TALYS
  • Familiarity with data analysis tools such as ROOT

Candidates without a Master’s degree have until 1 September, 2024 to complete the final exam

Grade requirements:

The norm is as follows:

  • The average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor’s degree must be C or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The average grade point for courses included in the Master’s degree must be B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The Master’s thesis must have the grade B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • For candidates who would like to apply for a fourth year including teaching, good knowledge of Norwegian or another Scandinavian language is strongly preferred.
  • English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/ EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements

The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree. 

The fellowship requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the position.

For more information see here.

Personal skills

  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to work in an international research environment
  • Ability to work independently

We offer

  • Salary NOK 532 200 – 575 400 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement 
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Career development programmes
  • Oslo’s family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Cover letter - statement of motivation and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of educational certificates and transcripts of records
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)
  • Applicants who are interested in teaching need to add to this application a description of their motivation for and (if any) experience with teaching.

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system (please follow the link “Apply for this job”). Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English or a Scandinavian language.

Interviews will be part of the hiring process.

The research area for the position may include technologies referred to in the Ministry's export control regulations and all candidates will be evaluated in accordance with these regulations.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

UiO has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

Contact information

For further information please contact: Professor Sunniva Siem, email: sunniva.siem@fys.uio.no

For questions regarding Jobbnorge, please contact HR Adviser Elin Thoresen, email: elin.thoresen@mn.uio.no

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